Vanilla Wafer Cake and Tossing the Bad Apples (a Today Show recap)

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Vanilla Wafer Cake Whew!  What a wild and amazing last few days it’s been.  Having the opportunity to be on the Today Show has never been on my radar screen, so to be able to have 30 minute segment on the show was completely unbelievable.  I totally understand what folks mean when they say they feel like they are living someone else’s life.  I kept thinking, “They do know who I am, right?”

We flew up on Friday and got to experience the city a bit before we had our run-through Saturday night.  Then early Sunday morning (really early for us central-time non-morning folks) we were off to the show.  Here’s a few fun, behind-the-scenes shots from the trip…

imageI was tickled to see okra at Chelsea Market – amongst a LOT of other amazing things!



The run-through Saturday night.  There were lots of folks behind the scenes that made it look so easy for me. 


If you watched, this is Bobby McGrath that played during the show – very talented and super nice guy!


Here’s what it looks like from the other side looking toward the cameras.


The crew had stuff looking so nice!


Apparently they liked the brunch!  It was gone in no time.


See!  I told you!  Those New York folks liked my Shrimp and Grits.


Dylan was just as sweet as she could be.  It was so fun cooking with her.


This lady right here is nothing short of AMAZING.  Deb is an awesome food stylist and made me look like a pro!  I seriously couldn’t have done it without her.


Shana is the Today Show producer that did my segment – she’s from Chicago, but she’s so sweet I offered her honorary Southern residency.  🙂


A quick tour of the main studio…


The Orange Room – looks much bigger on TV.


The wall of signed celebrity photos.  I was bummed they didn’t ask for mine.

The exposure to a national audience on such a huge scale has enabled us to add to our Southern Bite family in an amazing way.  We just keep on setting places at this big ol’  table and nothing pleases me more.   Now granted, just like the big ol’ family reunion where you HAVE to see cousin so-and-so, twice removed that no one really likes, you’re going to add a few apples to the bunch that are a little overripe.  There were some rude comments on Facebook, some crazy tweets, and a few bad reviews of the book on Amazon (from folks who obviously haven’t read the book), but you know, we’re just not going to let those few bad apples ruin the bunch – cause trust me… y’all are good apples.  It’s pretty easy actually, we just toss those apple out.  Folks, here’s the deal… I never set out to do any of this.  But apparently God has a plan for me, so I’m going to keep on this path.  If He keeps opening doors, I’m going to keep walking through them.  Not to mention there were only a few negative remarks in a sea of positive ones from sweet people just like you.  🙂  So, thank y’all for that.  Seriously.  It means more than you could ever know.  Let’s be honest, y’all are the main reason folks take me seriously (which is funny – I never imagined folks would ever actually take me seriously).  You folks that come back to the blog day after day and give me this amazing platform to be able to share my food with this world are the reason folks pay attention to me.  Without y’all, I’d just be Stacey Little.  With y’all… We are Southern Bite.  Thanks, y’all.  I love you for it!

This Vanilla Wafer Cake has been around forever.  I’m not sure where it originated, but this is my family’s version of the classic baked good.  It’s a dense, moist, sweet cake that will really surprise you at how good it is.  Y’all enjoy! Vanilla Wafer Cake - Pinterest 

Vanilla Wafer Caker
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (11-ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 (6-ounce) packages frozen coconut, thawed
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 to 12 cup Bundt pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer). Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the crushed vanilla wafers and milk and mix well. Add the coconut, vanilla, and pecans and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes to 1 hour and 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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  1. The cake looks delicious! I will be giving it a try very soon.

    LOVE all the pictures from the TODAY show. What an amazing experience! I am so excited for you.

    Don’t worry about those bad apples on Amazon. It is just people that are jealous of your success. There are always going to be haters. You just can’t let them get you down!

  2. Amanda Patton says:

    This recipe looks yummy! I loved the Today show segment, thought it looked super fun. As for the haters and negative people, I like your adage, you just throw out those bad apples and pay them no mind. Now come to Texas for a book signing so I can meet ya! Have a great day! 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us. I tend to think some folks are just awfully unhappy and live and love to try to make others as miserable and unhappy as themselves. Glad we can be much bigger/better than them. Love this cake too.

  4. Jan Humphreys says:

    I have been making a very similar vanilla wafer cake for about 30 years. I got the recipe from my husbands godmother. Its a wonderful cake, I wish I made it more often, but I usually reserve it for guest. I’m sure the Today show was an experience never to forget. Congrats.

  5. I’m happy that you got to show off our Southern food to a wide audience. I’m a NW Alabama cook. I’ve heard so much about Chelsea Market, I was surprised how less than fresh that okra looked.

  6. Tanya Gillyard says:

    It was a great surprise to see you on the Today Show! I served on The Grand Jury with you, and really enjoyed that time with all of you. I have ordered your cookbook and can’t wait to get it. It is great to see that you and your family are doing so well.

    Very Blessed,

  7. Stacey, I know you are going to think I am stupid, but, what is frozen coconut? I always just buy the bags of coconut & use that. Sorry….have been raised in old fashion southern homes. GOOD job on Today show….proud of you.

  8. Stacey, you were great on The Today Show. Enjoyed seeing you so much, you represented Alabama so well.
    As a Loxley resident I was very, very proud. Keep up the good work and I have got to get to the bookstore and get your book asap. Again, congratulations on a job well done!! Keep the e-mails coming!

  9. I just knew one day you would be a celebrity!!! Every dish I have ever made comes out perfect. from using your recipes. We all watched the Today Show and I was so proud to see you on it. I just knew that one day you would be nationally known just like we know you on The Southern Bite blog. Don’t the haters just wish they were half as successful as you are. As the old saying goes, “keep on keeping on.” Good job Stacey. I always knew one day you would be nationally known.!!!!!

  10. Hi Stacey! I didn’t get to watch you on The Today Show but I’m certain it was wonderful. Ignore the negative and accentuate the positive!
    Love your site and really loved meeting your beautiful wife {I’m sooo making that Peppery Ranch Cheese Ball} You guys are a lovely couple. Keep the great stories AND the great recipes coming!
    P.S.We LOVE your cookbook here in KY!

  11. That cake looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!!! Congrats on your TV premiere on The Today Show, I know this is only the beginning of many more to come. You are a natural in front of the camera.
    Don’t let the toxic haters get to you, they aren’t worth your time or energy..

    Sending you best wishes from one Southern gal in Southern California !!!!

  12. Beth Scearce says:

    This looks good but I don’t have a bundt pan. Can I bake it in another size pan? If so, for how long? Saw you on Today and liked you on Facebook. Thanks

  13. Kathy Stephenson says:

    I happen to love your book! So many great recipes. Being a northerner married to a southern man, you’ve made me look good.

    Now, on to this yummy recipe. I’ve never seen frozen coconut. Where do I find that?

    • Thanks, Kathy! The frozen coconut can usually be found in the grocery store next to the frozen fruit – usually around the frozen pie crusts.

  14. Hey Friend!

    I love your attitude in the face of “bad apples.” In my experience the bad apples are usually unhappy people that, for some reason, think it will make them feel better about themselves and their own lives if they pick apart someone else. How sad their lives must be. I always stop and pray for them – pray they find Jesus and the joy and peace only He can bring.

    As for you… you rock! You just keep walking through every door God opens for you. Follow HIS plan for your life and keep making other lives brighter by letting His light shine through you. I’m honored to call you friend. You are a blessing, and God blesses those who bless others. He is doing great things in and through your life because you keep saying “yes” and because you continue to honor Him. You da man!

    Sweetest Blessings,

  15. Just wanted to Congratulate you on being invited to be on the today show. I’m. enjoying you on Facebook and wish you much success.

  16. You did a great job on Today…….very professional, sweet, sincere, real, natural, and laid back!!!! Congrats! The recipe looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I caught the Today show and it was great as are your recipes and philosophy on life. I also like the pop of spring colors on your shirts. Have a wonderful spring !

  18. emily willingham says:

    you just keep a-doin’ what you been doin’ – don’t let the haters get you down 🙂

  19. Congratulations Stacey — that is awesome! 🙂
    I received your cookbook last week, and love all the recipes!

  20. I saw you for the first time on the Today show, Stacey. I thought you did a wonderful job representing Southern cooks with your great recipes and gentile Southern charm! I, too, loved your bright colorful shirt! Keep cooking and sharing our treasured recipes and thank you for your positive comments and attitude. I look forward to watching your continued success!

  21. Loved you on the Today Show. We had a Ladies Luncheon at my church two Saturdays before the show. I told everyone about your book, they could purchase it at Blessings and to be sure and watch you on the Today Show. Mrs. Annette and her husband went to Blessings the following week and bought the book. I don’t think she heard me when I made the announcement about the show. There were watching the Today Show Sunday morning. Mr. Ricky asked Mrs. Annette what was the name of the cookbook she bought the day before. She told him and he said “Get in here, that young man is on TV”. I am so excited for you and the success you are having.

  22. I made the shrimp and cheese grits today for my parents and daughter. They were delicious and everybody went back for seconds. You can always tell when something is good when they ask for another serving. I saw you on The Today Show Sunday morning and couldn’t wait to look at your website. I definitely will be buying your cookbook. Don’t worry about the negative comments. Just know that you have plenty of people supporting you and enjoying your delicious recipes. Keep up the good job! We here in South Carolina adore you.

  23. Sandra Bane says:

    So proud of you Stacey, you deserve all the attention you are getting. Keep up the good work !!

  24. Shirley Anderson says:

    I can’t wait to try this cake, but most of my family doesn’t eat nuts. Can I leave them out and the cake be OK?
    Also, my mother made a pound cake with frozen coconut and I have searched her recipe boxes and can’t find it. I have looked online and can’t find one using the frozen coconut. Do you happen to have one?


  25. If I wanted to make cupcakes or muffins with this recipe, how would I do it?

    • The only thing you’d need to do it just adjust the cooking time. I’ve not done it that way so I can’t suggest times. I’d just have to test it to see when it’s done. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  26. I have never heard of a Vanilla Wafer Cake, but it looks so good, that I am trying it next week. I can just imagine how good it is.

  27. Bobbie McGuire says:

    My Grandmother got this recipe from The Lila McCloud Show on tv when i was a kid.. Years ago.

  28. Thank you so much for the recipe.. My late Mother in law use to make this when we visit her.. Its so moist just delicious.I am having this cake this weekend.have a Blessed day

  29. Elaine Cobb says:

    First let me say I love all of your recipes. Yum!

    I didn’t think Vanilla Wafers were made any more. These are the small, round, Nabisco vanilla wafers? My friend called them when they quit making them she loved them so much. Am I wrong?


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